John Hinderaker @ Powerline:
I noted here that the news media’s performance on the Sandy Hook elementary school murders has been terrible, with news outlets committing one factual error after another. Yet in all the calls for “soul searching” that have followed Adam Lanza’s rampage, I haven’t seen a single one suggesting that reporters and editors should reflect on their own conduct, either in publicizing (and thereby encouraging) mass murderers like Lanza, or in making sure they have their facts straight before going public with information.
So it will be interesting to watch media outlets issue corrections to their Sandy Hook coverage over the coming days. This morning the New York Times published a series of corrections to its Sandy Hook coverage:
* An article on Saturday about the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and 8 adults dead, using information from the authorities, misstated the way in which the gunman managed to enter the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman, Adam Lanza, shot his way in, defeating the security system that required visitors to be buzzed in; the school’s principal did not allow him to go through the security system after recognizing him. The article also referred incorrectly to the gunman’s mother, Nancy, whom he killed in the house they shared not far from the school. She was never a teacher at the school.
* An article on Sunday about the way in which the gunman in the Connecticut school shooting blasted his way into the building on Friday and shot his victims multiple times misstated, in some editions, the caliber of two handguns found at the school. The guns were a 10-millimeter Glock and a 9-millimeter Sig Sauer — not .10-millimeter and .9-millimeter.
* An article on Monday about President Obama’s remarks at a memorial service in Newtown, Conn., for shooting victims quoted incorrectly from comments by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, who criticized Mr. Obama for inaction on gun control. Mr. Bloomberg, appearing on the NBC program “Meet the Press,” said that if Mr. Obama “does nothing during his second term something like 48,000 Americans will be killed with illegal guns.” He did not say that is the number that would be killed in the next year.
* An article in the New York pages on Monday about past resistance to tightening gun rules in Newtown, Conn., misspelled the surname of an owner of a gun range on High Rock Road. He is Scott Ostrosky, not Ostrovsky.
The first correction relates to two garden-variety factual errors. The assertion that Nancy Lanza was a teacher at Sandy Hook, and that she had been shot there, was a staple of the early coverage by nearly every news outlet.
The second correction reflects the ignorance of firearms, and mathematics, that dogs “mainstream” reporting on gun issues. Have the Times’s reporters and editors seriously never heard of a 9 millimeter pistol? And do they really not understand how microscopic a .9 millimeter bullet would be? When people know so little about firearms, how do they presume to lecture the rest of us on public policy relating to guns?